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Discussing: population of Arthedain, Rhudaur and Cardolan TA1300-1400

population of Arthedain, Rhudaur and Cardolan TA1300-1400

Is there a good estimate (or reference) for the number of people and the makeup of people living in Arthedain, Rhudaur and Cardolan just prior to the time Amon Sul was destroyed?

I've been reading through articles on population density of different countries 1000 and 2000 years ago and how different things like the development of an agricultural base, available water (and other resources), technological advancements like roads, and disaster or war can influence a population. One article that I found to be interesting, though I'm not a demographer so I don't know how valid it is:

http://www.iai.wiwi.uni-goettingen.de/klasen/klasennestmann.pdf

From what I've read though, the range of population densities of different countries in 1000AD was from 0.1 to over 10 people per square kilometer. Based on the size of Arthedain, about 100,000 square miles or 270,000 square kilometers, there could have been 10,000 people or 1,000,000 people. I would guess that Arthedain could have a couple of hundred thousand inhabitants (Dunedain and non-Numenorean men) at this time since the war with Angmar hadn't yet begun, but I'm not sure what effect, the previous wars (Dagorlad, siege of Barudur) might have had on the Dunedain population in Arthedain at this time. Tolkein indicates lifespan and fecundity were decreasing, so even if there were 10 generations of people, possibly only 10-20% of the population was Dunedain. I am assuming that Cardolan is similar in its population makeup - perhaps fewer Dunedain?

From what I've read, Rhudaur was primarily Hillmen at this time.

Any comments anyone?

 

 

Re: population of Arthedain, Rhudaur and Cardolan TA1300-1400

Hi Aerenos,

Is there a good estimate (or reference) for the number of people and the makeup of people living in Arthedain, Rhudaur and Cardolan just prior to the time Amon Sul was destroyed?


Nothing specific about the number, but there are a few more general references. You clearly have seen the ones about the people of Rhudaur being primarily Hillmen at this time, so I won't include those.

We do know that the population decline of Arnor actually began with the Last Alliance, long before it was broken up into the petty realms:

"Valandil [son of Isildur, born in Rivendell] took up his abode in Annúminas, but his folk were diminished, and of the Númenóreans and of the Men of Eriador there remained now too few to people the land or to maintain all the places that Elendil had built; in Dagorlad, and in Mordor, and upon the Gladden Fields many had fallen. And it came to pass after the days of Eärendur, the seventh king that followed Valandil, that the Men of Westernesse, the Dúnedain of the North, became divided into petty realms and lordships, and their foes devoured them one by one."

The Silmarillion, Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age

The Witch-king was probably the most destructive of the "foes who devoured them one by one".

And though there are mentions of the end of the Dúnedain of Cardolan about the time that Arthedain proclaimed its realm over all of the former Arnor, I believe that that referred mostly to the ruling line, because Tolkien stated that they perished in the Great Plague of 1636-37:

"In the days of Argeleb II the plague came into Eriador from the Southeast, and most of the people of Cardolan perished, especially in Minhiriath. ... It was at this time that an end came of the Dúnedain of Cardolan...."

The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur

Hope this helps!
- Barbara

 

 

Re: population of Arthedain, Rhudaur and Cardolan TA1300-1400

As a comparative, England is just over half that size (>50,000 square miles).  Estimates of England's population based on the Domesday Book (AD 1086) are 1.5-2.5 million; estimates for AD 1300 is 4-5 million; estimates of its Roman population is 3-4 million.  However, if the Shire is about in the same location as Mercia, Arthedain is geographically similar to Northumbria--further north, more highlands, and so less productive; which means less carrying capacity and lower population densities.

Scotland, at around 30,000 square miles, had only 500-700,000 people c. AD 1500, and 1.2 million in 1755.  And at that time the Highlands weren't as empty as they are now.

Given that perhaps a few as 10,000 Angles, Saxons, and Jutes migrated to Britain, I think it's safe to say that no more than 10% of the population had a significant proportion of Numenorean ancestry, and probably less.  They don't seem to have had large families, and their mortality rate (especially of men of combat age) was very high.

 

 

Re: population of Arthedain, Rhudaur and Cardolan TA1300-1400

Given that perhaps a few as 10,000 Angles, Saxons, and Jutes migrated to Britain, I think it's safe to say that no more than 10% of the population had a significant proportion of Numenorean ancestry, and probably less.  They don't seem to have had large families, and their mortality rate (especially of men of combat age) was very high.

I think I love you.   The lone population analysis geek is not alone anymore!

Gwynnyd 

 

 

Re: population of Arthedain, Rhudaur and Cardolan TA1300-1400

The lone population analysis geek is not alone anymore!

 

Demography is to society as phonology is to language: how many of who and where affects a lot more than most people appreciate.  Modern population structure and density are very different from what was the norm for the vast majority of humanity's existence, and writers who care about writing realistic pasts need to take that into account.

Have you seen any of the recent news accounts about how a small number of Germanic immigrants ended up with an enormous genetic and cultural impact in Britain?

 

 

Re: population of Arthedain, Rhudaur and Cardolan TA1300-1400

Thank you very much for the insightful comments everyone. I realize now that I was likely overestimating the proportion of Dunedain present at the time. In the story I am trying to write, which relies on a somewhat realistic breakdown of Arthedain's population at the time I asked about, I will need to make some changes.

As an aside, I am following the other thread on Dunedain populations in the north that you are all taking part in. Thanks everyone!

 

 

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